BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:30 A.M.) – Up to 30,000 Iraqi troops and militia units have been deployed to defend Iraq’s western border with Syria against possible attacks from forces of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIS/ISIL), according to reports citing Iraqi officials. Footage filmed on Monday shows forces gathered in the border district of Al-Qa’im.
Two full brigades of the Iraqi Army have reportedly been deployed along the border. Meanwhile some 20,000 fighters from the Shiite-Muslim majority Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) have also been deployed along Iraq’s frontier with Syria.
IS seized control of Al-Qa’im in August 2014 and it was only liberated by Iraqi government forces in November 2017.
According to Brigadier General Yehia Rasool, the spokesperson for the joint operation, militants are based a mere 5 km (3 miles) away from the Iraqi positions, inside Syrian territory.
“If any enemy forces try to attack it will face our resolute response,” he stated.
Video credit: Ruptly